Durant propels Warriors to rout of Thunder


LOS ANGELES: Kevin Durant again came up big against his former team, pouring in a season-high 40 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 121-100 NBA victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Durant, who departed Oklahoma City as a free agent in the off-season, had scored 39 against the Thunder when the teams met for the first time this season in November.
On Wednesday, he provided 13 points in a third-quarter surge that saw the Warriors seize a 93-78 lead in a game that was knotted at 56-56 at half-time.
The 47th 40-point game of Durant’s career helped Golden State withstand Thunder guard Russell Westbrook’s 21st triple-double of the season.
Westbrook amassed 27 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists, but he also coughed up 10 turnovers and while connecting on just eight of his 23 shots from the field.
Klay Thompson, who arrived at Oracle Arena in Oakland after a trip to visit his ailing grandfather in Portland, was tasked with defending Westbrook and also contributed 14 points on the offensive end.
Golden state’s two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry had 24 points, including nine in the decisive third quarter. Overall the Warriors shot 54.1 per cent of the field, and made 10 of 21 from three-point range.
Durant connected on 13 of his 16 attempts from the field, including five of seven from three-point range. He also pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds as the Warriors beat the Thunder 46-36 on the boards.
Draymond Green added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Warriors.
Westbrook had 16 of his points in the first half, during which the Thunder led by as many as seven.
He was sent to the court by a flagrant foul from Golden State centre Zaza Pachulia in the final minute of the first half, and the resulting free throws produced the half-time tie.
Kings’ Gay suffers
suspected torn Achilles
The Sacramento Kings’ 106-100 home loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday was made even more painful when Kings forward Rudy Gay exited with a suspected torn Achilles tendon.
Gay was injured late in the third quarter, and the team said a preliminary report indicated the torn tendon. He was to have an MRI exam on Thursday.
Gay was hurt as he tried to drive the baseline and went down with 14.3 seconds remaining in the third quarter and the Kings leading 79-69.
While on the court Gay tried to reach for the loose ball, and was then helped off the court by team-mates and medical staff.
Paul George scored 24 points and Jeff Teague added 22 for the Pacers, who shook off a ragged first half and a 22-point deficit to seize the victory.
Sacramento star DeMarcus Cousins posted his first triple-double of the season with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, but scored only six points in the second half and finished with nine turnovers.